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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  October 3, 2012 10:00am-1:00pm EDT

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contrast that where elections are completely counterfeit. again, though, that is not the same thing as saying, if i don't vote, the whole system comes crumbling down somehow. i can reassure him that as someone who was incredibly fortunate enough to be born in this country, i have never voted in a large scale public election. and yet, democracy endorse. democracy will continue to endure. one of the great things about living in america, even if he does not vote, even if his neighbors do not vote. if he considers voting has one of the perks of his citizenship, go for it. but if he happens to fall ill or be busy on election day, luckily, our elections will continue to be free and to be fair.
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host: catherine mangu-ward is the managing editor of reason magazine. thanks for coming in this morning that as of 4 "washington journal" this morning. you can follow tonight's presidential debate at the university of denver on our website we have a special campaign of set up. you can also watch clips of it afterwards. tomorrow morning on "washington journal" we will be reviewing headlines and taking your calls. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> in about half an hour, we will go live to the pentagon for
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a news briefing with lieutenant- general adrian bradshaw. he will be holding a video conference and you can see that live at 10:30 eastern on c-span. later, former secretary of state henry kissinger looks at the upcoming agenda of the 18th national congress of china. beginning november 8, china will have new communist party political leaders. you can see that discussion live at 2:30 eastern on c-span. -- 12:30 eastern on c-span. our live debate preview will begin at 7:00 p.m. eastern. at 9:00, jim lehrer will moderate the 90-minute debate with the questions focus on domestic policy. after that is done, your calls, e-mails, and tweets.
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with the first presidential debate tonight, you can visit our video library and watch the debates. right now, a portion of the 1984 debate between president ronald reagan and former vice president walter mondale. >> i want to raise an issue that has been looking for the past two or three weeks. you are already the oldest president in history, and some of your staff and said that you were tired after your most recent encounter with mr. mondale. i recall that president kennedy had to go on days on and without sleep during the cuban missile crisis. is there any doubt in your mind that you would be able to function in such circumstances? >> not at all. also, i will not make age an issue of this campaign. i'm not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience. [laughter]
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i might add, it was seneca or cicero, i don't know which, who said that if it was not for the elders correcting the mistakes of the young, there would be no state. >> a portion of a debate from october 21, 1984. the first presidential debate will take place tonight from the university of denver. you can see it live on c-span or listen on c-span radio or watch online. you are looking at live pictures from denver, the university campus. this is the ritchie center tower, right next to ritchie hall, where tonight's debate will take place. about 3500 members of the media from around the world are
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expected to be on hand for tonight's debate. members of the media at set up outside the building, outside the ritchie center, which is closed right now. both candidates will be arriving during the day to rehearse for tonight's debate. again, we will have live coverage during the debate itself, 90 minutes, domestic
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policy. be sure to join us beforehand at 7:00 for our debate preview here on c-span. well, earlier this week, with president obama and mitt romney held their last campaign rallies anbefore tonight. president obama was in las vegas. we will show you a portion of that event, and then a portion of mitt romney's rally in denver. here is the president now. >> now, you may have heard that in a few days, my opponent in this election and i are going to have a debate. i am looking forward to it. i know folks in the media are speculating already on who is going to have the best zinger. i don't know about that.
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who is going to put the most points on the board. now, no, governor romney, he is a good debater. i'm just ok. but what i'm most concerned about is having a serious discussion about what we need to do to keep the country growing and restore security for hard- working americans. that is what people are going to be listening for, that is the debate that you deserve. because in the coming weeks, you are going to have a big choice to make, nev., and it is and not just a choice between two candidates or two political parties. it is a choice between two different paths for this country. it is a choice between two and fundamentally different visions for our nation. i believe as a nation we are moving forward again. we are not where we need to be at. we have a lot more work to do in
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nevada and across the country to make the middle class secure again, to give ladders of opportunity for folks who are fighting to get into the middle class. the question is, whose plan is better for you? [crowd chanting "obama"] you know, my opponent is a big believer in top down economics. he thinks that if we just spend another $5 trillion on tax cuts for the wealthiest americans, if we get rid of regulations on wall street, then all our problems will be solved and jobs and prosperity will trickle down on all of you, debts will
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disappear, we will live happily ever after. there is only one problem with that. we tried that in the ticket before i became president. it didn't work. top down economics never works. we don't need to double down on the same trickle-down policies that got us into this mess in the first place. we don't need policies that just help folks at the very top. that is not how the country grows. that is not how we succeed. we succeed when at the middle class gets a bigger, when more people have a chance to get ahead and live up to their god- given potential. far when we very have leaders who write off half the nation as a bunch of the victims who don't take responsibility for their lives. let me tell you, i have been to nevada in line. you guys may get tired of me.
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but as i travel around the state, i don't see a lot of the victims. i see a lot of hard-working nevadans. [applause] i see students trying to work their way through school. i see single moms trying to put in overtime to raise their kids. i see senior citizens who saved all their lives because they worked all their lives to earn their time. i see veterans who served this country bravely. i see soldiers to defend our freedom today -- who defend our freedom today. we don't believe anybody is entitled to success. we don't believe government should help people who are not trying to help themselves. but we do believe in something called opportunity. we believe that hard work should pay off in this country, responsibility should be rewarded in this country, that this is a country where everybody should get a fair shot
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and everybody should do their fair share and everybody is playing by the same rules. we believe in an america where no matter what you look like or where you come from, what your last name is, who you love, that you can make it if you try. that is the country i believe in, that is what i and fighting for, that is why i am running for a second term as president of the united states. [applause] [crowd changint "four more years"] what i want to promote is a new economic patriotism, that we grow this economy best where everybody has a shot and the middle class is thriving.
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i will pretend that it will be easy to get there. it took us a bunch -- i will not pretend that it will be easy to get there. it took us a bunch of years to get into this mess and will take a bunch to get out. but our challenges can be solved, our problems can be met. we've still got the best workers in the world, the best entrepreneurs, the best scientists, the best businesses, the best colleges, the best universities. there is not a country on earth that would not trade places with the united states. the path i'm offering may be hard, but it is to a better place. -- it leads to a better place. i put forward a specific, practical plan to grow the middle class and rebuild our economy on a strong foundation. i want you to know what this plan is, so when you talk to folks, you can say "here is what he is going to do."
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i want to export more products but outsource fewer jobs. [applause] you remember when the auto industry was about to go under, my opponent said, "let detroit go bankrupt." [boos] don't boo, vote. [applause] i said to rebuild a dying auto industry, and now it is on top of the world. now you have got a choice. we can keep giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas, or we can reward companies that are opening new plants and hiring new workers right here in nevada. that is what i want to do. i want to help factories and small businesses export more. we can create 1 million new manufacturing jobs, but we will have to vote to make it happen. i want us to control more of our own energy did that is the
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second part of our plan. after 30 years of doing nothing, we raised fuel standards so that by the middle of next decade, your cars and trucks will go prices far on a gallon of gas. as far on a gallon of gas. [applause] that will save you money and will be good for our economy and is good for national security and it is good for our environment. [applause] we doubled the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar here in nevada and all across the country. thousands of americans have jobs building wind turbines and solar panels and long-lasting batteries. today the united states of america is less dependent on foreign oil than any time in the last two decades. now you have got a choice. we can reverse this progress like governor romney wants to do, or we can build on it. unlike my opponent, i am not
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going to let the oil companies write our energy plan. i'm not going to let oil companies collect corporate welfare from our taxpayers. we have a better plan where we invest in wind and solar and farmers and scientists who are harnessing new biofuels to power our cars, where construction workers are building homes and factories that weighs less energy, and we are investing to get out 100-year supply of natural gas. we can create hundreds of thousands of jobs in nevada and all across the country, and cut oil imports in half by 2020. that is my plan. but you have got to vote if we are going to make it happen. i want to give more americans the chance to get a great education and get the skills they need to compete. that is the third part of my plan. education is the only reason i am standing here today. son of a single mom.
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it is the only reason michelle got a chance. the question is are we going to give that opportunity to everybody. right now there are millions of students who are paying less for college because we took away billions of dollars going to banks and we said let's give them directly to students. [applause] so now you have got a choice. we can gut investments in education like governor romney wants to do to pay for tax breaks for the wealthy. [boos] don't boo, vote. or we can decide that no child should have at their dream deferred because of overcrowded classrooms. no family should set aside a college acceptance letter because they don't have the money. no company should have to look to some other country because they cannot find the workers
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with the right skills here at home. nevada, i wanted, recruit thousands of new math and science teachers, improve early education, create 2 million more slots in community colleges so that workers can get trained for the new jobs out there now. help us work with colleges and universities to keep tuition down. that is a goal we can meet together. you cannot choose that future for america -- can choose that future for america, but what we need to do? >> vote. >> i have already worked with republicans and democrats to cut spending by $1 trillion. i'm willing to do a little bit more. i want to reform our tax code so that idea is simple and fair. but i also want to ask the wealthiest households in america to pay slightly higher
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taxes. that is the same rate we had when bill clinton was president and we created 23 million new jobs, the biggest surplus in history, and a whole lot of millionaires to boot. [applause] so that is my plan. in fairness, my opponent has got a plan, too. there's only one problem. some of you heard bill clinton say that there is no or arithmetic in it. [laughter] they think that somehow you can lower our deficits by spending another $5 trillion on a new tax breaks for the wealthy. but no matter how many times and they try to recruit their campaign and explain it, they cannot. they can't explain how you spend $5 trillion on tax cuts for the wealthy without raising taxes on middle-class families. how do you spend it $2 trillion
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on a new military spending that our military has not asked for and cut our deficits? you cannot do it. the math does not add up. >> president obama at his last campaign stop before tonight's debate. now, mitt romney speaking to reporters on monday. >> now, you know that you are going to get visitors this week. we are going to have a debate. there's a lot of interest surrounding the debate. people want to know who is going to win, who is going to score the punches and who is going to make the biggest difference in the arguments they make, and there is going to be all this scoring of winning and losing. in my view, it is not so much winning and losing or even the people themselves. it is about something bigger than that. these debates are an opportunity for each of us to describe the path way forward for america we will choose, and the american people will have to choose what
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kind of america they want. i am delighted that we are going to of three debates. it will be a conversation with the american people that will span almost an entire month. we will get to describe our respective views did i believe that the people of colorado will choose a better way forward for our country. we cannot afford four more years of the last four years. [applause] now, the president's pathway is not something which is unknown to us. we have seen at pathway he has proposed over the past four years. as a matter of fact, we heard his speech not terribly far from here 04 years ago about where he would take the country. he fought for some the things he described their -- bigger government, taxing people more and more. [boos] he believes in picking winners and losers. he put money, $90 billion into green energy companies like solyndra and tesla --
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[boos] a friend of mine said he does not just like picking winners pickingrs, he likes taki losers. [laughter] his pathways' a path that would dramatically shrink our military. his budget calls for hundreds of millions of dollars in military cuts, and on top of that, this sequestration deal puts more cuts on top of that. that will mean thousands of jobs lost here, millions of jobs ultimately lost across our great nation. i do not believe in shrinking our military i believe in must be second to none in the world. [applause] we know where the president's pathway leads, because we are on it. we have seen it for four years. we have seen the number people on food stamps go from
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32,000,002 47 million. [boos] 15 million more people falling into poverty and eating food stamps. 23 million americans looking for a job. 23 million. we have had 43 straight months of unemployment above 8%. what does the president have to say about this? he says, "forward." i think "forewarned" is a better term. [applause] we listened to the president and his convention a few weeks ago. no new ideas. he is out of ideas, he is out of excuses. and on november 6, you are going to put him out of office. [applause] now, paul ryan and i have a
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different path we will put america on. there are five things we will do to strengthen our economy and create 12 million new jobs and rising take-home pay. you realize over the last four years, every year you have seen the median income in america come down. income is down, and with the median income of $50,000, things are really tough for the american people. the middle-class squeeze has been unbearable. gasoline prices way up, food prices up, electricity prices up, health insurance costs up. the american middle class is struggling under this president, and my plan and paul ryan's plan to create five steps to get this economy going will help middle income americans have a brighter future and if people out of poverty. let me tell you what those steps are. number one, we are going to fully take advantage of our oil, coal, gas, nuclear facilities. [applause]
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the president has cut in half the number of permits and licenses on federal land. i will make sure you get the resources in alaska, you will get the energy here. by the way, i will get the pipeline from canada -- [applause] number 1 is energy. that creates about 3.5 million to 4 million new jobs, not just in the energy sector, but manufacturing. it will come back here with low- cost and plentiful energy. that is number one. number two, i like trade with other nations. i want to open up more markets for trade. the same time that people cheat like china, like china has cheated on trade, i will crack down on them. we will not allow china to steal
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our jobs unfairly. [applause] number 3, i want to make sure our workers are getting the skills they need and training programs that work for them. right now we have 47 different federal government training programs. 47. they report to eight different agencies. think of all the overhead, all the waste, all the duplication. i'm to take all that money and give colorado its -- i want to take all that money and give the colorado its fair share and say, you create a program that works best for your own people. [applause] and making sure our people have the skills to compete, i not only want to help our people that are in the workforce today. i want to make sure that our kids are getting the education they need. for that to happen, it is time for us to fully recognize that we have to put our kids and parents and teachers and first
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and the teachers' union behind. [applause] number 4, to create jobs requires entrepreneurs to take the risk of opening a business. small businesses have to grow and thrive. it also takes big companies to decide to build a new facility in america and hire more people. for those things to happen, they have got to be convinced that america is not on the road to greece. if they think that america is going to have the kind of economic circumstances that greece now has, they are not going to risk their life savings to start a business. what i am going to do is this -- i am going to cut federal spending and capital as a percentage of the economy and finally get us on track to a balanced budget. [applause]
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and there is one more -, and tht is this. we have to champion a small business. we have to make it easier for small businesses. now, the president has a plan for small business. on a million small businesses, he is planning on raising their taxes from 35% to 40%. [boos] that will kill jobs. the national federation of independent businesses asked ernst and young to see what impact will have on america, and the answer is that would cost 700,000 jobs. i don't want to lose jobs. i have a plan, by the way, that adds 7 million jobs. my tax plan brings down the tax rate and deductions and credits for high-income people, brings down that tax rates so that small businesses can afford to hire more people. my priority is jobs.
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jobs is job 1 in my administration did we will get america working again by helping small business. [applause] let me mention one other thing. if the president succeeds in said he is pushing very hard, which is something known as card check, for those of you not familiar, it is this -- we will take away from american workers the right to vote by secret ballot as to whether or not they want to have a union. [boos] on that basis, a guy could be in the backyard with his kids and a guy could come up and say, "signed this." entrepreneurs will not want to start a business if that is the case.
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if card eject goes into place, it will kill the entrepreneurial economy. it will kill our economy. i will stop that. we must have the right to vote by secret ballot. >> that was mitt romney from his last campaign appearance on monday in denver. you can see live pictures from the campus. getting a look at the press area outside the ritchie center, where the debate will take place tonight is focusing on domestic policy. it will be an 90-minute debate. yesterday we were able to look inside the hall and set up on the stage and cd spin room where both parties -- see the spin room where both parties will offer their comments.
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again, the media set up outside of ritchie hall. the hall is closed right now. the president and mr. romney will come later to rehearse for the debate. the media is not permitted to watch that. we will have live coverage when it gets under way at starting at 9:00 p.m. eastern on c-span.
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and live out to the pentagon for a news briefing with lieutenant- general adrian bradshaw. he is an afghanistan today and will be briefing reporters via videoconference on the progress and transition in afghanistan.
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again, we are live in the pentagon this morning for a news briefing with lieutenant-general adrian bradshaw piteous, once again, in afghanistan and he will be briefing -- he is, once again, in afghanistan and he will be briefing reporters on
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the progress and transition in afghanistan. later, former secretary of state henry kissinger will be looking at the upcoming agenda on the 18th national congress of china and what it means for u.s.-china relations. china will have new communist party political leaders stressed that discussion will get underway at 12:30 eastern at the woodrow wilson center in washington. we will have at live for you on c-span. a reminder of tonight's debate from the university of denver. at 9:00, jim lehrer will be moderating the debate, focusing on domestic policy. when i.t. is done, we will take your phone calls and e-mails and tweets. live coverage starts at 7:00 p.m. eastern. you can also listen on c-span radio or watch online at c-
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well, we apologize but we were expecting the pentagon briefing to get underway momentarily. we are having some technical difficulties with the feed from afghanistan and the remarks from a british lieutenant general adrian bradshaw. he is going to talk about the situation in afghanistan and update reporters via video conference. as soon as this gets established, we will have a live for you on c-span. a quick reminder of live coverage we have before you later today. former secretary state henry kissinger will talk about the upcoming agenda of the 18th national congress of china and one new leadership means for u.s.-china relations. it will start at 12:30 eastern right here on c-span.
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>> good morning here in the pentagon and good evening and afghanistan. i would like to welcome the isaf deputy commander, lt. general adrian bradshaw. he took on his duties in november of last year. since november 1980 to the mid-
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1990's, with a tour that included the operations in bosnia, and he was a commander of operations in iraq in march 2003 and then took charge of an armored brigade during operations in april of that year. by 2006, he was director of the special forces. in march 2009, he was appointed commanding general of the first armored division of the british army. this is lieutenant general bradshaw's second time with us in the briefing room. he lasted join us in february of this year. he will provide brief opening remarks on progress towards targets in afghanistan and then take your questions. with that, in general, i will turn it over to you, sir. >> well, good morning, and i'm delighted to be able to join you again today from afghanistan to update you on isaf's campaign progress. today the vast majority of afghan people are represented by their own government and are to
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a greater and greater extent protected by their own security forces. whilst coalition forces continue to play a key role, is increasingly a supporting one. progress has been significant. ansf are leading 3/4 of all security operations. afghans also constitute 3/4 of all those in uniform defending the country. transition is on track with 3/4 of the population living under afghan security leak. this includes every provincial capital, and increasingly insurgency is faced by the ansf rather than isaf. in other words, the face of local security is more and more afghan. by mid-2013 next year, all parts of afghanistan was begun transition and afghan forces will be in the lead for a
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security nationwide. insurgent attacks reduced by nearly 10% last year and continued this year on a state downward path. -- steady downward path. this year we have seen their ability to strike in population centers significantly reduced. more and more they are being relegated to the less popular margins. meanwhile, over 5000 fighters have turned their back on the insurgency and reintegrate into society. reintegration is not yet a game changer, but it has the potential to become so as conditions for the insurgents get more difficult and as their motivation to get rid of foreigners from their country becomes less and less relevant. the afghan security forces are now over 1/3 of 1 million strong. their confidence and confidence is increasing noticeably all the time, in large part thanks to
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our advisory teams. they are now planning and leading their own well coordinated brigade-level operations. isaf is in a support role only. in some areas, they are routinely maneuvering at core level and employing their own artillery for support, a significant step forward. we are moving from leading, and combat operations to a supporting and advising role through a purpose-built a rise routine. these teams -- purpose-built advisory teams. these teams will step back. the transition process is on track but there is much to do before the end of 2014. we needed to continue to build the capability and most importantly confidence in the ansf. we must continue to develop
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ansf enabling abilities so that they can sustain their own needs. we need to get the balance right between making them to implement their own improvements under pressure and stepping in to help. at the end of 2014, the nato-led combat mission will end. the international community will, however, continue to provide financial and practical support to the ansf and the government of afghanistan, as promised in chicago and tokyo. the insurgent leadership are realizing they cannot achieve their political aims by military means alone. after a decade of exile, the message is clear -- cash in your chips and join the political process or face another decade or more away from their homes. challenges still remain as afghanistan emerges from three decades of conflict. but as districts and provinces moved through transition, we're seeing the government of afghanistan assume more
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responsibility. it was said just a few weeks ago, this is a war with the purpose and for isaf, forces, a war with an end. we all understand the purpose -- to prevent afghanistan once again from harboring aq and other international terrorists who threaten all of our nations. we look forward to finishing isaf, operations at the end of 2014, confident in the ability of the ansf to stand on their own feet with our continued backing through financial interest in support -- financial and training support. we can take great pride in what our coalition of 50 nations is achieving afghanistan. much more needs to be done, but we and our partners are it sensing gains in confidence, competence, and appetite for afghans to take on the job. i would now be delighted to take
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your questions. >> hi, at general bradshaw. "washington at titimes." during the suspension of operations below the battalion level, what changes were made at -- areime, if any, and ar nato forces better prepared to combat insider attacks? >> thanks for that question, because it gives me an opportunity to clarify misperceptions. we face a period of a particular threat with respect to insider attack in the aftermath of the very insulting and damaging film that was circulating over the internet. as you know, it caused widespread disturbances across
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the middle east, was starting to emerge in afghanistan. as a result, commanders were directed to carry out full risk assessments and to run the assessments past the two-star regional commanders so that date could assess -- they could assess the risk levels at all the levels we were mentoring. there was a brief pause in some areas while those risk assessments were completed. we rapidly got back to a more normal profile. i would say now that our profile is largely back to normal. we continue to keep a close eye on the reisk. in the meantime, in reference to a question of whether we are more prepared, the answer is yes, and even over the last couple of weeks, the systems we have evolved and are evolving with our afghan partners to
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identify the threats very rapidly to close with the units involved, if necessary to question the people involved -- that system has become much more efficient. we believe we are making the environment safer for our people as a result. >> just a follow-up question. you say those operations are largely back to normal. which operations are not back to normal? and could you talk a little bit about the system in the last few weeks? >> yeah. well, when i said "largely back to normal," i meant that the majority of people were carrying on operations as they were before these assessments took place. there may have been minor adjustments, but largely, as i say, we're totally back to
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normal. in many areas, mentoring really did not cease. the risk assessments were carried out simultaneously with operations continuing, and there was no interruption in operational activities. in terms of how we are addressing the threats, we are introducing changes into the counterintelligence operations at the afghan national security forces. we are assisting them with some of this. they are just the numbers of people who are assisting with counterintelligence. the national director of security 1 between officers in the national army to assist in this effort. what we're doing at the moment is rolling out an operation whereby the nds work in very much closer cooperation not only with their afghan partners, but also with isaf partners on the
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counterintelligence side. the whole process is a lot more joined up. in the meantime, the afghans have read a ruler over there vetting -- their vetting procedures. they have looked back at all the people who have been vetted in the past and carried out extensive rechecking to make sure that the procedures have been properly carried out. we are also improving various aspects of our own training with regard to working alongside our afghan partners. i think you will be aware that the president of afghanistan himself is very much engaged in this effort and has directly himself decided that officers from the religious and cultural affairs department of the afghan national army will be
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made available to help us with our pre training. as you know, we already do a great deal of cultural and language training for our troops before they come in the theater. in a number of areas, we are improving procedures, and in this way, we are driving the risk down for our troops. >> good day, in general. -- good day, general. al jazeera english. does isaf have a better idea of what happened on saturday when two u.s. troops were apparently ambushed and killed by afghan security forces? two, how would you characterize the state of morale imam isaf forces in light of the ongoing so-called "green on blue" attacks this year? >> yeah, well, regarding the attack you referred to, we did make a brief statement to the
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media a couple of days ago. i have to say that the investigation is still ongoing, so i have nothing to add to that. i cannot prejudiced the investigation. we said that when we had a full picture of exactly what happened, we would let people know. but as of yet, the investigation is ongoing. regarding the morale of isaf troops who are working alongside the afghan troops, i can tell you that morale is high. i visited a unit, and afghan unit out in logar, only a couple of weeks ago with the isaf partners, and witnessed firsthand the very close working relationship they all enjoyed it. these people for have worked together for a long time and no to the well and have strong
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friendships with afghan partners. and morale is high. across the force, people are focused on the job at hand, which is training and mentoring and bringing on the capability of our afghan partners so they can take on the job. i think i.t. is important to remember that although the insider attacks are very painful thing, although the losses of people to these sorts of attacks, as any sort of attacks, caused great upset and grief, and for the families concerned on the most enormous tragedy is, and we sympathize with them deeply, it is important to remember that insider attacks account for just over 4% of our casualties, and it is also worth remembering that in the last pannier, a year to date, compared with last year, our
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casualty rate is down by nearly 4%. this reflects the fact that across the force as a whole, the risk to our people is reducing as we had over responsibility for the combat operations to our afghan partners. >> general, "christian science monitor." the nato secretary-general indicated earlier this week that nato may consider accelerating the drawdown of forces within afghanistan. i wanted to see what sort of steps you are taking to prepare for that. >> well, let me just clarify something here. i think the reporting of those comments was perhaps a bit misleading. and perhaps the worst somewhat
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mischievous. there is no change to the timetable, and frankly, the commitment that our troops are giving to this operation all across the country, and the success of they are delivering, deserves better. the timetable set at lisbon is in place, and there is no change to that. the security forces assistance model relies on a graduated, modulated step back from our afghan partners level by level, from the bottom up, as they grow in confidence and capability. clearly there is scope to make judgments, and we make judgments the whole time related to the capability, and we have a set of metrics that we apply to measure how well they are doing. and at the appropriate time, we can step back. in some areas, we have done these assessments, and we assess
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that we can pull back a little quicker in some places. in other areas, it will take more time. for example, with logistic elements, we note that it will take a little more time to build a full capability. but the plan is in place and it relies, as i say, on building capability and confidence and not pulling back to cerrone and undermining that confidence -- not pulling back too soon and undermining that confidence. in terms of building capabilities of the afghan national security forces, we have got a plan which rules out over the next couple of years. so the lisbon timeline is in place. there will be minor adjustments across the battle space, but there is no change to the plan or the strategy. >> hi, general. you mentioned that 5000 of former insurgents had been
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reintegrated, but you said that that is not a game changer yet. what is your estimate of the overall size of the insurgency? over the past year, have you seen an increase in the rate of insurgents coming forward and trying to reintegrate? >> the overall size of the insurgency is a pretty difficult thing to estimate, because an insurgent and one day can become a farmer the next, and of course, vice versa. rough estimates from the intelligence community vary around 30,000 to 35,000, but those are not necessarily completely reliable. in terms of those numbers, of course, over 5000 people in the reintegration program is quite a significant number.
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it has the capacity to be a game changer if and when the political process takes off. i have said to you that the insurgency is under pressure. they are, we think, at the point of realizing that they cannot achieve their political aims by military means alone. in fact, we see some real signs of that in our intelligence reporting. this is a very important point in any insurgency, because this is the signal to the insurgents that they must join the political process. when they do that, of course, the reintegration program provides their fighters a mechanism by which to reintegrate into society. in that respect, it could become a game changer.
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>> general, lou martinez of abc news. ksu said that insider attac account for 4% of casualties. i thought that isaf said that they were 20% of the casualties this year. when you said that you do not want to prejudice the investigation into the saturday attack, there are reports that this man and a unit-to-unit incident as opposed to individual -- this may have been a unit-to-unit incident as opposed to individual -- blue on green initiated as opposed to green on a blueprint when will the results be made public? >> well, for the first part of your question, the proportion of total casualties both killed and wounded is 4.4% to insider
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attacks. as i pointed out, a total casualty rates has decreased by 40%. over this year, to the state, compared with the same period last year. i said that i cannot tell you anything more about the incident because it is the subject of an investigation. we made a brief statement a couple of days ago, and we cannot add to that until the investigation is complete. we will have to give it time to be completed. >> ok, general -- richard. >> you stressed over and over again the importance of building confidence in ansf.
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how can that be done, given the increase in insider attacks? more than 50 killed this year alone. with operations now, it seems to be distressing separation between isaf forces and ansf. how do you build the confidence in them? [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> i think your question characterized the situation on the ground complete and accurately. the concept of operations for the security forces has our advisory teams close up alongside, working with our
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afghan partners. our experiences, the closer we work with them, the better the relationships and the safer we feel. sensible precautions are being taken. the guardian angel concept is in being. it is done any tactful and sensible manner. it does look out of place -- it does not look out of place. there are people with magazines attached to their weapons in most locations a lot of the time. it is not an unusual sight. i think your question really does not characterize what you see when you visit our troops on the ground. i have been close alongside our troops in a number of areas. i was with u.s. troops working close alongside afghans and the
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relationships were excellent. they were working close alongside their partners. they had a good relationship. there was clearly a high degree of trust between the commanders. the troops were getting on extremely well. i have seen their same in the rest of the country. i was visiting a site -- i visited troops down in helmand. all over the country, the vast majority of interactions, thousands of interactions a day are trusting and really they are characteristic of people getting on to gather jointly with a demanding job. in that respect, there is far more the brings us together than divides us.
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>> i am with bbc news. i am a bit confused. the figure was 20% to 21% kill from insider attacks. where does the four par 1% come from -- where does the 4 per come from? >> the question i was asked was a total casualty numbers. the total number is 4%. until killed was about 20% -- the total killed was about 20%. >> can you talk about the specific training they get before they go to afghanistan? what distinguishes the training
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before they go to afghanistan? >> well, the most obvious difference between the security forces and the normal combat troops who have been a partner in their afghan partners is the constructs of the team. you have communicators, medical specialists, you have people who are specializing in the command and control. you have a counter intelligence representatives. the contract is very different from a normal combat unit. it tends to be rather more command and noncommissioned officer heavy and by and large there for the experience levels within the teams are somewhat higher. in terms of their preparation,
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they all go through the normal combat training that any troops would go through before coming onto the ground where there will possibly be in a combat role, even though their primary task is advisory. they will do the normal cross training with aircraft and fires and assets and a full training profile and they'll do an extensive cultural elements and this is the beast that the afghans have said they will contribute to most recently. it is a broad training profile that covers all the aspects of their mission. the primary difference between the advisory teams and the part eritreans is the construct of the teams themselves.
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>> to follow-up on richard's question, the nato secretary general said the insider attacks have undermined trust and confidence between the forces. you mentioned a need to implement these guardian angel programs in a sensible manner. how do you balance to keep frayed relations is between security forces intact and the need to be essentially clampdown and say this cannot happen anymore. to what extent are you going to top leadership and looking into their role in leadership? the idea that maybe these forces did not feel as attached to their higher command?
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>> firstly, the secretary general to make a comment about the undermining of the relationship. i think it is important not to underplayed this. as i say, the vast majority of working relationships are very strong. we see them the whole time. to the other part of your question, as to how the afghan leadership is responding to this, i can tell you a couple of weeks ago i went to a national security council meeting chaired by the president of afghanistan at which he majored on the need for his forces to bear down on the threat of insider attack and to get to grips of the things that needed to be done to
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reduce this risk. this was real leadership right from the top and make an immediate impact on his people. they have been working with us closely for a long time before that. but we have seen a real energy being put into this. they have a top officer in the afghan national army working to head up the effort and he has been extremely energetic. we are working in a totally joint and unified manner. the very process of bearing down on the risk of the insider threat has brought us closer together. i can vouch for the leadership that is being given on the afghan side. you will know how -- the need to bear down from the isaf point of
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view. he is taking a close interest in all measures we're doing. >> if you see any linked between the complaints of corruption at the highest level and these insider attacks? you mentioned the efforts to implement the guardian angel program na tactful manner. if you could elaborate on that a little bit and what kinds of steps you are taking? >> the presence of corruption in any area means there is an effect on efficiency. for this reason the ministry of defense at the ministry of interior have built their own counter corruption programs
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which have examined the way they do business and the money flows, the material flows within the system. as a result of their close examination of how they do business internally throughout the chain of command, i can tell you in number of people have been arrested and the message is out there within the ministry of interior and the m.o.d. that corruption will not be tolerated. this requires intensive efforts to get to grips with. the security ministries are in the lead across the government in spearheading the counter corruption efforts. there was a second part to your question. >> to elaborate in the manner in which york implementing the guardian angel program.
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if you can give some examples of that, the guardian angel program. >> it is the way that people go about their business. keeping an eye on their mates all taking exercise while playing sports or relaxing within -- where has that task to stay on one side. they have a weapon and are ready to use it if necessary but not constantly in people's faces. it is done in a tackle and sensible manner. it is done in a manner to minimize any sense of discomfort from anyone else. in the locations where this is going on, there are people all over the place with weapons and the magazines are on the weapons.
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it is pretty difficult for anybody to tell who is a guarded angel and who is somebody else that is getting on with his job. >> hi. i am with reuters. general allen said he was mad about these attacks. he seemed to be minimizing the insider attack risk. % figure.he 4 the think the inside attack threats have been overblown? what do used to base your comments that morale is high -- what do you use to base your comments that morale is high? >> it is a fair question. general allan, we're all very
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a need to grip this problem. it is a tragedy will lose our people for any reason. for this reason, it is hurtful and must be incredibly difficult for people to accept or understand. we realize that. for that reason, for the morale affect on our folks back home, just as we bear down on any threat to our troops, we bear down on this risk and we are very strongly. i do not seek to minimize that aspect at all. general allen takes it very seriously and ito's to the afghans do.
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-- and i have told you the afghans do. the threat is more of a morale threat than a physical threat. that is why we take it very seriously. it is important to put it into context. in the last year, the total number of casualties of their troops was reduced by 30%. as we move forward, we gradually disengage from the afghan forces and the rest will become less and less. the key thing is we must maintain the confidence of our partners and keep them with us. if we suddenly precipitously pullback in the face of this risk, when the campaign itself is deliver it so much success, we would unravel the efforts we
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have worked so hard to deliver. across the country, the insurgency is under pressure. their attack rate reduces. we pushed them out of the settled populated areas into the desert margins. they are becoming less and less relevant to the people. the survey data we're getting back suggests security is the number four concern behind things like provision of electricity and employment. so they are seeing their lives become more secure. they are seeing people deliver that security more and more half an afghan face. confidence is growing. it is important that we remain with the mission and a pullback
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in that modulated manner, retaining the confidence of our afghan partners and allow this progress to continue so that we can successfully hand over at the end of 2014. that is the reason we're so earnest about bearing down on this risk. >> he said morale is high. is that anecdote evidence from your talks to the troops? >> it is not anecdotal evidence. it is what i see every week around the theater, visiting troops in all locations. i'm just about to go on out and visit troops in the field. i see what they are doing with their afghan partners. i see the relationships.
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i talk to the afghan partners and hear what they say. they all feel very bad about the insider threat attacks. they are equally determined to bear down on them. it is a risk that would need to bear down together. the measures we are taking we're taking in close cooperation with their afghan partners. in working together closely, we are coming together even closer . >> i'm with al jazeera english. he said the intelligence estimates of insurgents is about 30,000, 35,000. is it possible to fully vanquish these insurgents before the end of 2014?
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if not, what will the troops be dealing with? >> we have to continue to assess progress towards the end of combat operations. we would expect to continue to make progress against the insurgents say. we would expect them to continue to attempt to focus on their key objective areas. the campaign last year was designed to regain control of areas of helmont and kandahar provinces in particular. that failed and they saw the government securities owned expand southwards and, as in area which was previously described as a bleeding ulcer. i went there a couple of months
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back. i walked into an internet cafe where members of the afghan local police were doing literacy training. the place is dramatically change. the insurgents have been pushed out to the margins. we saw the first engineer convoy drives up to the dam, a huge project would be so important to the province. and also to kandahar. the first engineer convoy drove up with justice contract of security staff and without a major military operation going on to get up there. we have seen an expansion in the security zone and a time when
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the insurgents were trying to recover ground from us. the haqqani network and this is on trying to get a tax into -- to get attacks into kabul city have failed. the insurgency has been pushed back significantly last year and continuing progress this year and we continue to see signs of pressure. let me give you an example. they are under financial pressure. the insurgents are getting hold of families whose family members have access only that the have detonated i.e.d.'s.
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it is that sort of behavior which will set the insurgents against the very popular is that they seek to win over. at the end of 2014, the insurgency will be further reduced and will still be a challengine for security forces. it is one that i think they will be more than adequately able to match. the insurgents will continue to be marginalized to the rural areas. comparativecompare little influence. they will be able to protect the
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populations and allow the government to deliver the risk. >> will turn it back over to you for any closing remarks. >> thank you for that. in terms of closing remarks, i want to say over the year or so i've been here, i've seen sacrifice from our people. i have seen huge commitment. i've visited troops all over the country. u.s. troops down with the rf in the helmland province. -- helmand province. i've seen the germans in the north. every week i've been around and
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seen the effort, the commitments and the belief that our troops have been their mission and the progress that is being made. i have also seen a strong partnerships with our afghan belie thes, which bh impression that is created. it is a serious issue. we're taking it seriously. we're reducing the risk. overall, our relationships with our afghan colleagues remains strong. i would invite you to see it with your own eyes. this year we've seen the enemy pushed further into the margins away from the population centers. we have seen signs of pressure in our intelligence reporting of shortages of finance and equipment. we have seen leadership showing
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divisions of the middle levels. at the higher levels, concluding they are not going to achieve their aims by military means alone. we have seen our casualty rates this year 40% down. we're stepping back and the afghans are stepping up to the plate and they are doing so in good measure. the enemy will continue to throw challenges at us. but he knows he cannot achieve his political aims through military means. this is the time to hold our resolve. thank you very much. >> thank you, general, and good evening. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> we have more live coverage coming up. henry kissinger will prevent the
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agenda of the 18th national congress of china. china will have a new communist party political leaders. will that mean for the u.s. -- what will that mean for the u.s.? >> i have all the channels -- house, senate, author, book reviews, speeches, those kinds of things. if i know a bill is coming up on the floor in the house, i watch which channel i want to see, because i have them all. if there is a speech that i know you have covered or a book review, i am going to watch that. when i want to find out something that has some value to it, that is going to be one of the first places i look. i'm a public broadcasting fan. i watch those channels. out of a couple of hundred
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channels, i have five to 10 at the most that i'm going to go to. but it's going to include all of the c-span channels. >> david brugger watches c-span on directv. c-span, created by america's cable companies in 1979, brought to you as a public service by your television provider. >> when nations cheat in trade, i will call them on the carpet for it and label them a currency manipulator. >> we brought more trade cases against china in one term than the last administration did in two. >> watch and engage with c-span with our live debate preview at 7:00 p.m. eastern with two ways
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.o watch the debate falling, your reactions -- following, your reactions. >> we are live once again from the site of tonight's presidential debate at the university of denver. we are looking inside the spin room. there is room here for about 1000 members of the media. we'll get some of that reaction tonight at the close of the debate. the hall itself is close at this hour. president obama and mitt romney will get a chance later to rehearsed for the debate. that will not be open to the press.
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our coverage starts tonight at 7:00 p.m. we will have a preview program. we will also be looking for your reaction here on c-span, c-span radio, and vote be a factor. the c-span bus took a tour. here's some of what they had to say. >> met rahm it has never been in
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my position before. he is never been at my social economic status -- mitt romney has never been in my position before. >> mitt romney has a lot of experience in business. he can put the economy back on track. >> i'm voting for gary johnson this year be as he will reduce the deficit and because he will respect the constitution. >> i am supporting president obama for the upcoming election. he deserves another term so it can experience his policies coming into fruition. >> failed economic records. i will be voting for mitt romney to do a better job. >> gary johnson will uphold the
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constitution and stay out of unneeded wars. >> you can find out more about c-span's political coverage on our website. now a debate from nebraska. that seat is open. this is about an hour. >> i will be the moderator. we welcome those across the nation joining us on c-span. we're live tweeting this debate.
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you can give us your comments during and after the debate on our facebook page. the candidates will face questions from nebraskan journalists and citizens across the state and also questions from each other. the rules are simple. each candidate will have 90 seconds to respond to the question and 30 seconds for a rebuttal. tonight's debate is taking place in front of a live studio audience. before we meet the candidates, let's introduce the panel of journalists that will be asking the question tonight. the last 11 years with net news. colleen williams, a journalist
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for 20 years. and she has spent 10 of those in central nebraska or she is the anchor. and also from the "lincoln journal star" who is a capitol reporter for the "lincoln journal star." now it's time to meet the candidates. we determine the order of the debate. the first candidate to present an opening statement is deb fischer. >> thank you and good evening. want to change the way america does business.
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we need to look at that. we make tough decisions in nebraska and we move on. we're able to do that in nebraska. nebraskans are fed up. they have said enough spending, enough in debt and enough taxes on the middle class. we have made changes to grow this economy. that is why i'm running for the senate. nebraska's want to change the leadership in washington. we have a senate that has not passed a budget let alone a balanced budget. we can change that. that is why i'm running for the united states senate. i want to pass a balanced budget. i'm not one of the grill boys and i will make those tough
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decisions in the event states senate. i will work hard for you and i will fight for you. >> i love nebraska. i was born here. i grew up here. a recover from illness and injuries here in lincoln. i started a business that today employs more than 70 people along back to business. i served as your senator. when i left office, to return to the private sector, we were paying off our public dead. i am a candidate for congress
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because congress is to change and i'll fight to make change happen. i never will be a cookie cutter politician. i never will be anything other than somebody who loves nebraska and will always do what is best for our state and nation. >> thank you. it is time for questions from our panel of journalists. with a question for senator kerry. >> good morning. --could leaving. how we balance the interest and should congress continue to require use of up to 15 billion gallons of ethanol taking about 40% of the nation's corn crop when critics say that raises food prices for everyone?
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>> >> the critics are wrong. we had when uttered billion dollars of net income and a surplus for the rest of the nation. i am appalled that governor romney or president obama is talking about agriculture in this campaign. it is the foundation of the u.s. economy it has been a great success. it has lowered the price of fuel, improved the quality of economy. it has created tens of thousands of jobs. it is a great example of bipartisan efforts. there is a new company with 100 yards. -- with 100 jobs. this is in a failure the
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interest or an alliance. there is no need to choose. >> senator fisher? >> thank you very much. you know, i grew up in lincoln. my husband and i have been married 40 years, and i have lived in cherry county for those three sons and denali. -- and daughter in law. agriculture is important in this state. what is important is that we always work together as a state. there are urban interests and rural interests and they coincide. because of agriculture's importance to the state of nebraska -- for instance, one in three jobs are dependent on the ag economy. we need to keep it in mind. it is a balancing act. i have done it in the last eight years in the legislature, handling that balancing act. that is how we grow our economy.
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in fact, we have weathered this economy fairly well here in the state of nebraska because the ago economy has been strong, -- because the ag economy has been strong, because it has carried us through. that is recognized all across the state. >> senator, kerrey, 30 seconds. >> everything she sedition i -- i agree with. i am not quite sure what she said. my problem with what senator fisher talks about here and in other areas is that her signing of the northwest pledge, her -- grover norquist pledge, her support of this particular balanced budget amendment will necessitate deep cuts in everything she talks about wanting to do. in this case, crop insurance. we authored that back in the 1990's. we have to push beyond the rhetoric and ask the question. what is the impact on nebraska of the fisher plan? >> we hear about the northwest -- norquist pledge.
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that is a pledge i have made to the people of nebraska. senator nelson has signed that as well. when ronald reagan was president, we had a debt of $1 trillion. today it is $16 trillion. ronald reagan said we can't do it with a quintero anymore. -- with a carrot anymore. it is going to take a stick, and that is the balanced budget amendment. at $16 trillion, we need a big stick. we need to cut spending. we can do that. we can cut spending and we can balance this budget. >> thank you. our next question from clean -- collen williams directed to senator fisher. >> what is the one thing we should be concentrating on to improve education in this country? >> i'm a former school board member of 20 years. i started out in a two-room school house, was elected to that board and then served over 15 years on the valentine school board. i understand the importance of
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education. it is a priority for me. but it works best at the local level. it works best when you have school board members involved, when you have parents involved, when you have a community involved and when you have educators involved. one of the mistakes i believe that has been made at the federal level is the package of -- passage of the no child left behind act. i think it started out with good intentions, but it hasn't accomplished what it should have. it has taken educators out of the classroom, and we need to keep them in the classroom if they are going to address the needs of students. >> senator? >> the most important thing is to make sure that these kids arrive in kindergarten ready to learn. if they are behind, they are never going to catch up. that is just a fact. i am not going to get a nobel prize for making that discovery. it is a fact.
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the rhetoric of senator fisher and the reality of her propose always don't match up. she voted against providing prenatal care for children. the proposal will result in deep cuts to early childhood education and head start. it is a fact. i am not exaggerating here. that is what her plan does. at least grover is honest. i know grover well. he was on the entitlement commission with senator danforth and i. he is against the head start bill. he is honest about what he wants. he would like to see medicare privatized. that is what he wants. he didn't sign a pledge for nebraska. he signed his pledge. he has a particular vision for our state. i happen to disagree with that vision and believe that signing that pledge is going to make it difficult for us to take care of our kids and give them the quality of education they need. >> senator fisher, 30 seconds. >> mr. kerrey, i don't agree
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with your numbers. you know that. i signed a pledge to people. -- to nebraskans. i have never had them say to me go to lincoln and raise my taxes. i have never had a person say to me go to washington and keep spending. that is not how we do it. i have been on the front lines in education. i have served on a board in a small district where you deal intimately with staff, with students and with parents, and we have been successful here in the state doing this. >> thank you. senator kerrey. >> the numbers are available for people to look at. you can examine it. macroeconomics has examined the impact. it will destroy 50,000 jobs. it will make it difficult to do anything. especially with education. it was her vote against prenatal care for children that i cited. that is what she is done in the
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past. she is not an advocate for early childhood education, which i think is the most important thing we can do to make certain we have success in our schools. >> in is the nebraska did he babe live from the studios in lincoln. now it is your turn to ask a question of our candidates. for months n.e.t. news with libraries across nebraska have encouraged voters to record a short video and ask a question for the candidates to answer. we call the project voter voices. tonight you will hear there two nebraska citizens. our first question comes from margaret bowzer of omaha. >> the other problem that i would like to see addressed in the next four years is huge campaign finance reform. our elections are being sold to the highest bidder. that is not what our democracy should be about. >> senator kerrey? you are first to respond. >> did she have a two part
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question? >> the focus is on campaign finance reform. >> all right. when i say i am going to fight to change congress, i need it i have a 45-word amendment to the constitution that i think would make those proud. i announced that a couple of weeks ago. it says that congress must organize itself in a non- partisan fashion. you can have no more than 12 consecutive years of service. you have to place limitations of what you can spend in campaigns. the questioner is right. even if it is not reality, the perception is that politics has been corrupted by money. i remember running in 1982. "nobody thought you were corrupt then." the constitution says if you are 30 years old and a citizen you can run. but the reality is if you can't raise $7 million or $8 million, you are not qualified. there is no question it is
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corrupting our political process and decision-making. we have to change the constitution to give congress the authority to actually limit what can be spent in campaigns. >> thank you. senator? >> thank you. i am proud of the fact that on our last campaign finance report that both of us turned in, over 70% of my contributions came from within the state of nebraska. it came from nebraska citizens. with mr. kerrey, over 70% of his contributions came from out of state. if we're going to run campaigns, i hope to engage citizens. that is what i have been doing, is traveling the state, engaging citizens, garnering great grassroots support across the state. we did it in the primary. there was so much excitement. we have that now. we have it with local people here in the state of nebraska. when you are talking about possibly finance reforms, i think we need more transparency. i think we need more
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accountability. you can look at requiring instead of quarterly reports, maybe monthly reports. there are changes that can be looked at to make it a more open and transparent process. that is what campaign finance is about. >> senator kerrey, 30 seconds? >> i disagree. if we don't amend the constitution to give congress the authority to limit spending, you going to see a continuation of this. waterboarding is more popular today than congress. the big wall street banks spent $400 million in 2009 and 2010 to water down the regulation bill they are trying to repeal it again. money matters in these campaigns. >> senator fisher? >> i can tell citizens that have donate todd my campaign, over 70%, they don't expect that they botany vote. -- that they bought any vote.
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it doesn't happen in the legislature, and it is not going to happen in the united states senate. and for someone to say, mr. kerrey, that you want to amend the constitution. it is easier said than done. that is a very difficult process to go through. amending the constitution to make it a non-partisan body, how does that make it easier? how does it help with campaign finance? >> here is the next question. >> good evening, senators. attack adds and name-calling has seemed to become such a fact. -- attack ads. most people seem tired of it. you are not allowed to not answer this. list three qualities or accomplishments that would make your opponent a great u.s. senator? >> i have always said i thank mr. kerrey and respect him for his service to our country. i respect him for his service as a governor, and i respect him
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for his service in the united states senate. that being said, i am not supporting you in this election. \[laughter] but i thank you for that. that is very important, and do honor you for it. but you have a different perspective when it comes to view of government than i do. i think you believe that government is the wherewith of all for what we need in this country. i do not. i believe we need private responsibility. but i do thank you for your service. for ell, you are welcome tw= that service. i respect that she is a mother. i respect that she is a rancher and a small business person. i think she is campaigning on all three of those things. i have a great deal of respect for what she did in the school board and legislature. anybody that is a candidate for
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public office, you are putting your family and so far at risk. but we have fundamental disagreements here. the negative advertising is in one year -- all you have to do to miss negative advertising is not watch television, which is not a bad option. [laughter] what she said isn't true. i started a business here in nebraska. the first thing we had to do to start our business was get a permit, get a zone change. talk to the county and talk to the state. i understand the governor doesn't create jobs and that the private sector creates jobs, and i understand you have to be careful with taxes in that regard. it is political rhetoric in my opinion. she said earlier you can't get a constitutional amendment passed and that is why i don't support it. i was alive in 1971 when they lowered the voting age. i was in favor of raising the shooting age. we got it done in 90 days.
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if i am in the senate, i have no doubt that i can persuade them. >> thank you. senator fisher, 30 seconds. >> well now i would have to say i admire your determination to believe you you could do something like that. that is a mighty task. i don't see congress changing that quickly. non-partisan legislature works here in the state of nebraska. i'm a part of that. i have worked through with my colleagues on a number of issues for the last eight years, and we have accomplished a lot, and i am very proud of that fact. but it is not that easy. it is not that easy. what we need to do is make sure that we have people elected who your willing to step forward and work across the aisle. not career politicians. >> senator kerrey? >> just because it is difficult
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doesn't mean we shouldn't do it. i believe i can get it done. i don't intend to persuade congress. they are going to oppose it. harried and mitch mcconnell will pose -- harry reid and mitch mcconnell will oppose it. i am going to fight to change the rules of the filibuster. i am going to announce $1 trillion in savings by cutting back on congress' pensions and the executive branch. if we want to balance this budget, we have to lead with that kind of an effort. i expect to persuade the american people. >> here is the next question. >> i believe it is senator fisher. >> i will defer to you. >> senator kerrey, nebraska has the second lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 4%, but the bureau of labor statistics say the rate is twice that. can the people that were discouraged or working part- time.
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what can you do to improve that situation? >> first of all, there is nothing worse in life than wanting to work and not finding a job. in a lot of ways it is sort of outside of the reach of the experience of of both senator fisher and myself. this is a difficult thing for us to understand. so i would say first of all you have to keep production and agriculture healthy. i talked about ethanol earlier. we have 19 companies up in omaha that process food every day. senator fisher is in opposition to a proposal that would have removed a $300 million tax on m.u.d. has made it difficult on those jobs. you have to think about those burdens if you are going to create economic opportunities. i think you have to support public-private partner ships. there are lots of ways to do it. i have heard them talk about a mentor program that the governor started. small things that can make a
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difference. low cost public power can make a difference. the partner ships have with our universities throughout the state are important. the fisher plan will make those things difficult. it just will. the facts say so, you can't run away from it. you have to cut $1 trillion with -- worth the spending, and it will increase unemployment in nebraska by 50,000 people. >> senator fisher? >> thank you. let me tell you what the fisher plan is. the fisher plan is a jobs plan. it is to allow small businesses to grow, create jobs and turn this economy around. the fisher plan is so we can create opportunities for people to have jobs so they can take care of their families, so they can buy homes, so they can save for their kids' college education. that is what the fisher plan is. the fisher plan means we back government away from small businesses and let small businesses create jobs.
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that is how we are going to turn this economy around. that is how we are going to get on the road to recovery. we are going to reduce regulations. i always tell the story about meeting with home builders here in lincoln, and they told me that instead of inspectors coming and saying you need to change this, you need to fix this to meet a regulation, in the last four years what they have seen are inspectors coming in and signing them. what home builder had a ladder leaning up against the wall and he was fined $7,000. that is a government that is out of control. we need to reduce those regulations. we need to reform the tax code. if we want businesses to grow in this economy, you know what the fisher plan is? the fisher plan is that we need to look at the corporate tax straight. we are looking at 35% corporate tax rate. that is the highest among our trading partners. we need to lower that to 24%, close loopholes, allow
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businesses to create jobs here in this country and here in this state. we have done it in nebraska. >> thank you. >> that is the fisher slogan. the fisher plan says to governor -- to grover norquist no tax increase, including people over $1 million. the balanced budget proposal that she has is $1 trillion worth of cuts. it will increase unemployment in the state of nebraska 50%. it will break our commitments to senators, to veterans, it will -- to seniors, to veterans, it will weaken our military. that is what it does. this is outside analysis. in her own words she said to cut our mail terry is a bad thing. her proposal is 10 times worse. >> thank you. i will continue with the fisher plan because the fisher plan is going to reduce energy costs. we are lucky to have public power in this state, and we will get energy costs reduced.
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that helps businesses to grow. the fisher plan is going to allow for free and fair trade where you have an administration hopefully that will get those trade agreements to congress and get them signed so that our economy can grow. we have done it in nebraska. we have grown jobs here in the state of nebraska and provided property tax relief. those are specifics, not slogans of the fisher plan. i haven't heard that from the kerrey plan. >> thank you. this is the nebraska senate debate. a reminder to give us your thoughts on the debate on twitter. tonight we are putting questions to republican deb fisher and democrat bob kerrey. the next two questions will come from the candidates themselves. they will each ask one question of the other. we will begin with senator fisher asking senator kerrey a question.
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>> mr. kerrey, you talk about cutting spending. you talk about but partisanship. -- bipartisanship. yet when you were in the united states senate, when the welfare reform bill came up, you fought against it. that was a bipartisan bill. it was put forward by president clinton. i liked the ball, the people -- i like the bill, the people from nebraska liked the ball. -- the bill. senator kerrey and joe biden voted for the bill. that was an important piece of legislation. can you explain to us why did you vote against cutting spending? why did you vote against requiring people to work for their welfare check? and why did you vote against that landmark piece of legislation? >> you have 90 seconds. >> first of all, that is several questions. i did not vote against cutting spending. we supported the george bush budget in 1990.
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we did the same thing in 1993. and i worked with john kasic and newt gingrich rich, and it got the job done. we balanced the budget. we were paying off debt. the economy was growing. the unemployment rate was going down and poverty rates were going down. other than that, it didn't work. i didn't like the welfare bill. i voted against it because i didn't believe it provided the kind of child care and work support we needed to provide. we came back in, in 1997, and did it. idon't oppose of people-- don't oppose at all. receiving welfare to have to work. i think it is a good thing to do. i was governor in 1983 when we were in recession. we had no tax increase over that food. -- over that four years.
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we lowered the tax on ford. -- food. the governors will tell you. spend more money here, spend more money there. and we held the line. in this campaign i have endorsed republican proposals to cut spending. the conservative senator from oklahoma. i am proposing to cut congress today. it simply isn't true to say that i haven't supported spending cuts, because i have done plenty of it in the past. >> thank you. senator fisher you have a 30- second rebuttal. >> this was a signature achievement for president bill clinton. it was a vote against cutting spending. you didn't cut spending then. i don't know if you will cut spending if you go back to the united states senate. i don't want to see taxes raised. that is not the future i see for this country.
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if we are going to truly cut spending, yes, i support a balanced budget amendment because politicians will spend every dime they get. we need a bigger stick. >> senator kerrey, your question for senator fischer. >> let me put it back to you. in the last debate, you talked eloquently about taking care of our veterans and keeping our commitment to seniors. but i look at this balanced budget amendment. $1 trillion, senator fischer. lots of change. you cited 2001 as the grim moment when we were spending 18% we have a 12 million baby boomers who have retired since then. how are you going to cut $1 trillion? >> senator fischer?
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>> this is where you and i differ, because i see a brighter future for america. we can grow jobs, we can have the economy recover. it is not all about cutting spending. that is an important part. we of done it here in nebraska. it is an important part, but you have to grow the economy if you create jobs and opportunity. i believe it can be done. i did my view of the future is more positive than yours, because you look at cutting spending, but raising taxes. that is a fundamental difference between us. >> i will say it again pit in this campaign, i've endorsed republican proposals to cut spending. tom coburn, again, a conservative republican from oklahoma, today announced $1
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trillion in cuts. i understand we have to cut spending. my point is that all this sloganeering about being optimistic -- i am very optimistic. i have no reason to be anything but optimistic and confident. but when you cut $1 trillion because you don't want to raise taxes for people over a million, when you do it with cuts alone, it will increase unemployment in this state aof nebraska. we need to keep our commitments to seniors and veterans. >> back to our journalists. a question for senator fischer. >> one part of health care reform did away with insurance company's ability to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions part of the truck was increased cost of requiring people to have coverage, the individual mandate. if the health-care law is repealed, would you favor keeping pre-existing conditions
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coverage, and if so, how would you pay for it? >> i support repealing the health care act. i think that is important. what i hear from people across the state is that they overwhelmingly support it as well. we don't like the individual mandate, we don't like government coming between a doctor and patient. pre-existing conditions -- you know, i am visiting with nebraskans and at that is important that we address that and i believe the united states senate will come together to address it. what i will tell you is that we won't pay for it by stealing over $700 billion from medicare, because that was the trade-off on health care act now. that was the deal that was made. that is not sound policy. everybody knows it is not sound policy. what we can do is look for savings. we can look for savings with tort reform, because over 1/4 of the medical procedures that are
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required now are unnecessary. that is one way we can look for the money. >> letter kerrey? -- senator kerrey? >> first of all, i signed a tort reform bill when i was governor and it had no impact on costs at all to the people of nebraska need to check her assertions about the medicare cuts. it is a decrease in payments to hospitals. you'll be eligible for medicare in four or five years. under her proposal, medicare will be insolvent in 2016. under current law, it will not be insolvent until 2024. still a big problem. i just heard senator fischer talk about the need to cut spending, and now she wants to spend another $700 billion on insurance companies and hospitals. i support affordable health care act. i like the idea that pre- existing conditions can no
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longer be cited as a reason not to underwrite insurance. seniors all across the state, nearly 300,000, have already gotten a benefit, are getting preventative care. but most importantly, there is 120,000 nebraskans who in 2014 will get about $300,000 each, and you know who they are, making about $10 an hour. they will be able to buy health insurance. they will be healthier. they will be more likely to hold their family together and more likely to be productive in the workforce. you will have a hard time in 2020 finding anybody who say they oppose this because of the good will before our economy and our people. >> senator fischer. >> i disagree, because the $700 billion is a cut to medicare, cut to those providers. those providers said they expect to make it up, hospitals expect
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to make it up, by the increase in patients that would be coming due 2 obamacare. we will see 23 million people that are going to lose their employer insurance because of the health care act. that is an estimate of what is going to happen. this is not a good policy. >> senator kerrey. >> simply isn't true pitch he wants to spend $700 billion more on medicare. that is what she is proposing to do. they will make medicare insolvent in 2016 instead of 2034. it is true that obamacare will provide $1 billion to nebraska hospitals to cover uncompensated care. that is true. that is why i support the bill as is. congress didn't steal money from medicare. they preserve and protect it and extended its life. >> up next question is from kevin o'hanlon, directed towards senator kerrey.
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>> the united states, as you know, has been at war since 2001. it is safe to say that most americans are war weary. that said, what should the u.s. policy be towards iran and syria specifically, and would you use force, and does it require the prior consent of congress? >> a course requires the prior consent of congress. president obama should have gone to get the consent of congress before taking action in libya. i don't think we should allow iran to allowed to clear weapons, but i think we have to be very careful. i went to a war that was very popular when it started, and that after people started killing and dying, it got unpopular and we wanted to get it done. the same thing is happening afghanistan today. this war on terror did not start in 2001. we were attacked before that. our barracks in lebanon were
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attacked in 1983. we were attacked and in 1993 and in new york city. we were attacked on our east african embassies in 1997. we were attacked on the cole, 2000. we made a terrible mistake treating it as a law-enforcement problem. these people declared war on us and they are engaging in were like tactics, using suicide terrorism to go after this. don't question that this war predates 2001. i don't think you need to occupy afghanistan to fight the war but i don't think you have to occupy any nation, based upon my contacts and experience. but no one should doubt that this war is going to continue to . it is an existential threat to the united states of america, regardless of where you are in the world. >> senator fischer? >> thank you. yes, congress must consent to war. iran should not be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. that needs to be made clear.
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we have an administration that has a foreign policy that is in confusion. it is not clear to our allies nor to our foes. with regards to iran, in 2009 we saw a student protestors. no word from this administration. no word at all. finally, in 2011, the united states stepped forward with sanctions. i am happy that the european nations have stepped forward with sanctions as well. but we need to be clear with our allies, with our ally israel. it is not just a problem of that region. this is a problem for the world. it is estimated that in three years, the iranians are going to have icbm's that could reach the united states. this is our concern, and we have
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heard nothing from this administration with regard to iran enriching uranium. there's a lot of leader -- lack of leadership, a lack of clarity. i want america to remain a stabilizing force in the world. we need to have that. but with the lack of leadership, lack of clarification, what our allies don't know what we're doing, when our foe shalits just, we've lost that. >> senator kerrey? >> i don't know who is more confused, governor romney or president obama. the fifth fleet in bahrain that is on the persian gulf. the ocala the persian gulf for nothing. there are 80 million people in -- they don't call it the persian gulf for nothing. there are 80 million people in iran. the people like us.
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the people't, let do. if we are not careful with the military action, we will turn the people against us as well. >> senator fischer. >> i wanted to follow up on the part of your question about syria as well. we're looking at a civil war there, we're looking at a dictator, assad, who is murdering his own people. i'm not advocating an all entering that country. we need to monitor the situation. we don't know who the rebels are. there are indications that it could be al qaeda. we need to be very, very careful. but i would suggest, again, leadership by this administration in trying to pressure russia, where syria is a client state of russia, and have them try to step in with the situation. >> we told you earlier in the debate about the n.e.t. news project and ask the citizens across the state to go to a
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participating library and record a video with their comments on the issues and questions for the candidate. install record a video and send it to us -- you can still record a video and send it to us. you can also tune in to a one- our voter voices special on friday, october 19, at 7:00 p.m. central to these same candidates will answer more questions from nebraskans. we have one more of voter zero voices question in this debate. it comes from a law student. >> there is a it's a lot of discussion at the national level -- there is not a lot of discussion at the national level from our elected leadership about environmental issues. push to extract oil from our land, this countries land -- country's land.
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the other issue would be global warming. >> senator fischer, we are talking about environmental issues, extracting all hail from the land, and climate change. >> i have an energy plan. i have had it out for over a year now. that energy plan is all of the above. we realize that we have an abundance of natural resources in our state and here in our country. i believe that they need to be managed. they need to be managed responsibly. we need to drill for oil. we need to drill for oil on federal lands, offshore. we need to look at oil sales. we need to look at clean coal. the united states has a huge amount of coal. here in nebraska, we understand the importance of those coal- fired electric plants. that helps us to our energy rates, our electric rates low
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for consumers, but low for businesses as well. the governor can tell you when he talks to businesses in trying to attract them to our state that those electric costs at a big part to play in that. we need to consider that. we need to look at renewables. we need to look at wind, we need to look at solar. we have ethanol, which is a great boom for this state. but you need a balanced portfolio to move forward. with regards to climate change, what matters there is the policies that united states is going to implement to address climate change. what we have seen from the government and the past is cap- and-trade. i don't support cap-and-trade. >> thank you, senator fischer. senator kerrey. >> i hate to say this, one the reasons we have low-cost power
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is because we on the means of production. it is pumping power. that is why our rates are low. i appreciate that you don't like government and you think government should get out of everything, but it is because the government isn't all that we have low-cost power. that is a fact. that is undeniably true. i am not suggesting we need to nationalize the oil companies. i tended to agree with you that we need to do all of the budget. the question, our human beings warming the planet, and he said -- you said no. i know people don't change, i know they are concerned about the cost. but we grow our food outside, andmore vulnerable to adverse impacts -- and no state is the more vulnerable to adverse impacts on whether that nebraska. it is not like taking a piece of trash and throwing it on the ground and some will pick it up.
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it is not like a number of other things we're doing. you get to 600 parts per million, it takes 1600 years to reverse it. one of the things that politicians do is talk about children and grandchildren. if we don't do something about this problem -- i don't disagree about cap-and-trade, there are better ways to do it -- but if we don't identify the problem and use our ingenuity and innovation to solve the problem, years from now, don't count on our grandchildren thanking us, because they're not going to. what were you guys thinking? why did you acknowledge what scientists were telling you and use your considerable -- why did you not acknowledge what scientists were telling you and use your considerable challenge -- taught to solve it? >> cap-and-trade it is not the policy that this country should be implementing. cap-and-trade would be at $1,700
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tax on american families. that number, by the way, comes directly from the obama administration. >> senator kerrey. we are not going to do cap-and-trade, but that is not the issue before us today. senator fischer says human beings are not warming the planet, and i say we are. i think it is a clear and compelling problem and we need to address it, and we need a debate on how to address it and what our strategy is going to be. otherwise, we are going to wonder why in god's name we did not do anything about it. >> next question directed to senator kerrey. >> there is a lot of discussion about lowering taxes by eliminating deductions and loopholes, but one person's local is another person's deduction for mortgage interests, charitable contributions, or state and local taxes. would you favor eliminating or reducing any of those, or would
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you offer other specific changes? >> the big four are mortgage deduction -- you can scale it back. likewise with the charitable deductions, state and local. i think there is a great payoff for simplification. you have got to believe in it. you have got to believe that simplification will generate more revenue. if you sign the norquist pledge, you cannot do it. there is a huge payoff to the state of nebraska and the country through simplification. i have experienced this. there are thousands of lawyer- lobbyists in washington, d.c. -- paul ryan calls them "loophole lobbyists." he is 100% right. you can make a case -- it sounds like you are making the case on the most important thing in the world on each one of the street but you have got to believe
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there is going to be a big payoff. senator fischer and i agree on the need to cut rates, but will not be able to do it unless you are doing the right thing for our country and cutting back on these and other deductions but otherwise, there is no way to do its. all it does is increase the size of the deficit. >> senator fischer. >> we do need to simplify the tax code. there is bipartisan support to do bac -- that. we need to lower the corporate tax rate. i suggested over a year ago that we the were it to 24 -- we lower it to 24. we needed to repeal the death tax. we need to repeal the alternative minimum tax, tax that was set up to capture income from all individuals, the parallel tax. -- from a wealthier individuals,
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the parallel tax. instead, it is dipping down into the middle class. yes, we need to close loopholes. i can tell you, just in my visits with senators, that there is a consensus to move forward in a bipartisan manner to do that. >> thank you, senator fischer. senator kerry. >> rockport and aunt charring cross and i passed a reform that -- portman and chuck grassley i passed reform that gave a tremendous amount of power to deal with the irs could remember the cinderella story it with the glass slipper? fischer has created this glass slipper with a pledge to grover norquist did all the things she talks about, you cannot get it in there. that is the problem with her plan. >> senator fischer, 30 seconds. >> i think we were talking about reforming the tax code, and that
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has to happen, and there is bipartisan support for it. as a visit with business people all across the state, and they welcome that. they understand the complications. what they want to see is certainty. there is so much risk out there for businesses right now. when you have a tax code that is changing, constantly changing, it is hard to make business decisions. i talk to business people who want to hire, create jobs, hire new employees. but because of the uncertainty we are facing with the fiscal cliff, with the tax code that changes constantly, they are concerned. >> as we wind down our time together, we're going to move into a question from colleen williams. however, the answer will be 30 seconds lot from each of you with no rebuttal. >> recently the president called the inability to get the dream act passed his biggest mistake in office. name one specific mistake you have made in office.
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>> 30 seconds. >> i mentioned this before. there is a couple out there. one was my first year in the legislature. time moves fast. sometimes when you get bills on the floor -- as any senator, i was not prepared for a bill. it passed, and i was opposed to it. but it went to the process so quickly that after that, i have always been prepared when the bill is on the agenda. my staff knows we will be prepared for that bill, and we know what is going on. >> senator kerrey. >> my mistake was arriving in 1989 and not realizing how it damaged the political processes are pretty which in 1989 i and -- which in 1989 had been an advocate of the men and then -- the amendment then. my biggest mistake was not
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realizing what a mess there was in washington in 1989. >> each candidate will now have the opportunity for a 90-second closing statement. we begin with senator kerrey. >> our country faces enormous challenges both at home and abroad. by experience, i am prepared to meet them. i had been in the military, i served on the 9/11 commission, i serve on the senate intelligence committee. i am capable and willing to lead on a national security. i know how to balance the budget. i will fight to change our congress. i have already endorsed in this campaign republican proposals to cut spending and i will do more of that. i know i can work with republicans on a balanced budget and get our country going in the right direction. i know we can get this done. but it is not going to be easy. you know it is not going to be easy. we will have to look at the truth and talk about the trick, as they did when i was governor
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and senator before. -- about the truth, as i did when i was governor and senator before. if you want to be remembered by future generations for what we did today, we are going to have to change. i want to be the person who makes the change happened so that we are remembered more favorably. nebraska's work hard, we love our families and neighbors and we take care of each other and people who cannot help themselves -- the disabled, the elderly, men and women who come back from mohrs, women who need prenatal care, all children need nourishment of mind, body, and spirit. we love our state, we love our nation, we love our world, we want to do things that are better for it. it is a privilege and honor to serve one more time, and i ask for your vote on the sixth of november. >> thank you, senator kerrey. senator fischer. >> nebraskans will have a clearer choice on election day,
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because there are distinct differences between mr. kerrey and myself on each of the issues could help to pass the biggest tax relief package in the history of nebraska. mr. kerrey voted for the largest tax increase in the history of our country. i support a balanced budget amendment, because i know that unless politicians have that, they will never stop spending. not.errey does with health care, i believe in a market-based health care system where government is not come between a patient and doctor. mr. kerrey supports government run health care. i am the only candidate up here with the jobs plan, the fischer plan. if we are going to turn this economy around, we need to cut spending and we need to provide opportunities for job growth, we need to get government away from small businesses and let small businesses create those jobs by government reducing regulations,
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reforming the tax code, reducing energy costs, having free and fair trade. that is how we grow an economy. we have done that in nebraska and we can do this. americans are exceptional people. we have the talent, the will power, the resources, and we can meet these challenges before us. i do believe in a brighter future for this country. i believe that we can do this. i want to help build a better america. i ask for your support and ask for your vote. thank you, and got less. > -- god bless. >> that brings us to the conclusion of tonight's n.e.t. news today great thank you, senator kerrey and are fischer -- senator fischer, thank you, journalists, and thank you for watching. the conversation continues on the n.e.t. facebook page
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could lead to comment on how you felt the candidates did this evening. and watch our a voter voices special, october 19, 7:00 p.m. central time. thank you, once again come from all of us at net news, for watching us. don't forget to vote on november 6. good night. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> watch and engage as president obama and mitt romney me tonight for their first debate from the interest of denver. our coverage will begin at 7:00 p.m. eastern. and a clock, jim lehrer will moderate the debate. when the debate is done, we will take your phone calls, e-mails, and tweets.
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you can also listen on c-span radio or follow online at c- you can also visit our video library to watch past debates. a portion from the 1992 debate between president george h.w. bush and arkansas gov. bill clinton. >> ross gave a good answer, but i've got to respond directly to mr. bush. you have questioned my patriotism. you even brought right-wing congressmen in the white house to attack me for going to russia in 1969, 1970, when 50,000 americans did. i honor your service in world ar ii, i honor mr. perot's service in uniform, i honor every man and woman who ever served. but when joe mccarthy went around this country attacking people's patriotism, he was wrong. he was wrong. and a senator from connecticut stood up to him named prescott
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bush. your father was right to stand up to joe mccarthy, you were wrong to attack my patriotism. i was opposed to the war but i love my country. we need a president who will bring this country together, not divide it. we have had enough division. i want to lead a unified country. [applause] >> i did not question the man's patriotism. i question his judgment and character to it what he did in moscow, that is fine. let him explain it. i accepted that. i do not accept organizing demonstrations and a foreign country when your countries at war. i'm sorry, i cannot accept that. >> that debate took place october 11, 1992. a reminder that the first presidential debate takes place tonight at the university of denver. you can see at live on c-span and listen on the c-span radio or watch online at watch and engage. live pictures from the u.d.
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tavis, the university of denver campus, where the debate will take place in just over eight hours straight you see the reporters preparing for the debate tonight. this is where journalists will be covering the debate. afterwards, they will be meeting with the spokespersons for each candidate to get reactions on how they thought their candidate performed. this is called the spin room to expected to be filled to capacity. thousands of members of the media on hand. we will see what they have to say after the debate is done as part of our coverage.
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tweets from the white house pool said that maryland gov. martin o'malley and los angeles mayor antonio villaraigosa will be among those working the spin room for president obama. the president will be the one to get the first question tonight. both candidates will get rehearsal time. there will be no press coverage of that.
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>> i will be right here, and you know what -- >> we remind you again that coverage of tonight's debate will start at 7:00, with a preview program. the 90-minute debate will start at 9:00 with the several reairs afterwards. we will be looking for your reaction, your phone calls, and females, andt -- emails, and tweets.
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you can listen on c-span radio and follow online at and as we leave at the ritchie center in denver, we are live at the wilson center in the nation's capital. former secretary of state henry kissinger will be discussing u.s.-china relations. he will also previewed the agenda of the 18th national congress of china. november 8, china will have new communist political party leadership did what will that mean for the u.s.? we will find out this afternoon during this discussion. we understand that there are a little bit too many people in the room. they are still working on logistics and there. live coverage expected to begin in just a moment on c-span.
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>> good afternoon. i am and jane harman, president and ceo of the wilson center. welcome to those in the audience, as well as those turning and via c-span and live
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webcast it is great to see the ambassador -- is he here? no? our former ambassador to china under president clinton. he was to be here with this daughter -- his daughter elizabeth. the german ambassador to the united states during a very tough and important period in our relationship is in the front row. he is currently chair of the munich security forum, something i have attended for 11 years and henry kissinger has attended for many, many years, and gave a wonderful speech here at the wilson center on the u.s.-eu partnership a couple of days ago. earlier this year, the wilson center joined forces with the national public radio to create this public defense series we call "the national conversation." our hope is that this series will provide the public with the new opportunities to engage in much needed, civil discourse free from its debt. let me try that one on you
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again, civil discourse free from spin. imagine that this election season, especially on the day before the first debate. it is an honor to introduce my friend, dr. henry kissinger, who will be giving a brief keynote on china's upcoming ones-in-a- decade leadership transition and the potential opportunities for the united states. after his speech, npr's melissa block will introduce the other panelists. melissa, will not introduce herself, is the 26-year veteran of npr, and has been hosting "all things considered" in 2003. i said on monday that npr's steve inskeep is the first male voice i hear in the morning, and
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he is, at melissa is a very competent and informed female voice, which i hear in the late afternoon on the way home. she was in china preparing a broadcast for npr when a massive earthquake struck in 2008, and major organizations around the world rely on her extensive reporting on the destruction and relief efforts. i have many henry kissinger stories. i won't spend the full 15 minutes he demanded -- [laughter] but i will tell you a few of them. let's try this. this past valentine's day, he was my date. well, what really happened is that henry and i contacted our dear friends and ritu -- our dear friends andrea mitchell and alan greenspan about spending the evening with them, and we ended up in a hotel room with flowers.
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henry and i also sat with each other at defense policy board meetings, and we just spent a day and a half doing that discussing the very complicated issue of iran. at one of those meetings, henry told me -- this is very personal -- that i was his jewish mother. [laughter] my response was, "henry, i'm sure you had one early in your life. you certainly need one, so i accept." [laughter] not an issue comes up from the end of world war ii to today, and even before that, that henry cannot put into a brilliant contextually famed for his world acclaimed book on china, he used the wilson center's archives project for much of his research. don't worry, he give us a full credit. as max frankel of "the new york times" said in reviewing that book, "henry kissinger was not
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the first emissary in china, but persisted over decades, spending the careers of seven leaders on both sides. diplomatically speaking, he owns the franchise." henry kissinger's name is on the door of the kissinger institute, dedicated to his vision of improving the bilateral relationship between the two nations. that institute is led by the legendary ambassador stapleton roy, who is also on the panel. the institute's signature project is a series of a symposium on comparative governance, the latest of which was held at the wilson center in june on science and technology innovation. these symposia not only promote dialogue among global
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stakeholders, but also allow participants to develop personal connections. the institute also recently released an initial report on u.s.-china it security perceptions, another big project we are working on with leading research institutions in the u.s. and beijing. just last week we polished "sustaining u.s.-china cooperation and a clean energy," an overview of the difficulties both countries face in developing alternative energy industries and the potential room for cooperation. last november, finally, and we participated in another one of our national conversations -- henry participated in another one of our national conversations, entitled "afghanistan -- is there are regional end game." he resisted when he learned that we had organized a brilliant panel of scholars to, on in his remarks. we had not cleared the names with him and he did not know all the people and he was not happy.
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but he gave brief remarks, just as he will today, and he was warmly greeted by our own distinguished scholar robin wright, and the rest is obvious. some days later, i heard from him as follows, in his gravelly voice -- "sometimes i know i can be a pain in the ..." this time it was easier to convince him to show up. he knew who the panelists were. approve of you all. [laughter] -- he approved of you all. [laughter] please welcome my valentine's day date, dr. henry kissinger. [applause] >> you know, one of the aspects of being a jewish mother is you
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can never please a jewish mother completely. [laughter] but they also look after you with infinite attention. jane has been a friend for a long time, and it is a great privilege for me to be here. you leavem e in a position -- i was once at a reception. the lady came to me and said, "i understand you are a fascinating man." "fascinate me." [laughter] 1 of the less successful conversations that i have had. in this case, today, i may
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regret the choice of the panel. these are all friends and teachers of mine. i don't pretend to be a scholar of china. i have dealt with china for over 40 years now. i have thought a lot about it, i've read about it. but they are the scholars that really spend their lives going into. my experience in china is a personal experience of somebody who by accident was assigned to conduct the first mission to china. largely because president nixon felt that if he went through
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regular channels, he would be overwhelmed with a lot of technical details on subjects he considered not up to the immediate challenge, and he could be sure i cannot overwhelm him with details. so when i first came to china, i had an experience which is perhaps unique in this sense -- every visitor to china would have killed for the privilege of meeting chairman mao. i was terrified of having to do it for the reason that i knew that president nixon wanted to be the first policymaker who met mao.
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i knew my life would not be worth living if i came back having done the first photograph of an american with chairman mao. chairman mao had given instructions that if i requested a meeting with him, i should be taken to him immediately. i went through enormous contortions not to request a meeting. [laughter] and so i achieved that goal of my visit. i've met, of course, each generation of chinese leaders. reflected theaem mission and the conditions of his period.
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mao was a revolutionary, a prophet, who was consumed by the objectives he had set, and who recognized no obstacles in terms of his ability. the standard ritualistic language of american diplomacy didn't interest him. what brought me to china, in his mind, was that china was threatened, that he had to find possibility of having the more
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distant barbarians' deal with the more close-in barbarians -- in other words, having the united states balance the soviet union. that was his strategic objective. great strategic skill. i had the good fortune that my opposite was toeing the line. prime minister, had served for prime minister for decades, served until he was forced out of office four years after the opening. he was also of the revolutionary generation. but in -- mao was elemental, and
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when -- and who, for example, when president ford said to him , "i always say when you disagree, you don't have to be disagreeable," which, of course, makes no sense in china -- [laughter] why would you say that? [laughter] the line was the most skillful diplomat i ever encountered, a man of extraordinary ability to enter into the intangibles of a
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situation. and, of course, he was involved in many of the actions that mao ordered that involved enormous human suffering. the judgments i express here are i experienced personally. when we first started talking to the chinese, we had one great advantage -- there were only important subjects to talk about. there were no trivial subjects on the table. there was nothing that needed to be settled. there was no trade. even five years after the opening, trade with china was
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less than trade with honduras -- about $300 million, $400 million. while mao was alive, even those he wanted us as a strategic partner, he did not want china to be dependent on the rest of the world, and he insisted on maintaining the purity of communist doctrine. the conversation -- the first conversation has been published. and it reads like two professors of political science speculating in the abstract about the nature of international politics.
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you may wonder why this was. it was because in fact, the only thing worth talking about was at that point whether we could establish enough confidence between the two of us to risk the adventure that opening to china had presented for both sides. for the chinese, from the ideological point of view. for us, from a domestic and political point of view appeared even though the subject of the visit of president nixon to china was the reason why i came, it did not -- neither side mansion i -- neither side mentioned it until about 12 hours before we had to leave. i mention it only to say that the rule of foreign policy or diplomacy that i like to follow
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with that i believe should be followed is get to your objectives -- get your objectives straight before you start haggling about details. we had no choice. now, every generation since deng was a great reformer, and i cannot think of any other country where you could so definitely say that the evolution that we had seen in the last 30 years depending on the vision of one man, as in the case of deng. i certainly made no other chinese who had the vision and courage to move china into the international system and to engage in reform and in
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instituting a market system. the next leader zemin came to office in the aftermath of tenement, and he spent the better part of his 12 years in office restoring china to the international system and making china part of a genuinely globalize system. hu jintao is the first leader who actually had to operate in china as part of a globalized system. with each generation, the style of leadership has become less personal. that is, mao was treated reverentially, almost as a
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deity. appointments with mao were never scheduled, partly because of his health. you were suddenly called out of the meeting and taken to mao without advance warning, without being told ahead of time that you were going to see him at all. this was true of presidents. after missing the first meeting, i had the opportunity to meet him five times more. so hu jintao and this generation had a mission of operating china within the international system, working in a globalized structure. and now we have a new generation
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of leaders. and they have their own challenges. for one thing, many of them -- several of them, including the vice president who will soon be president, have a sense of victims of the call for revolution -- cultural revolution. their fathers were the victims, and the victims met and they were close to mao, were purged and sent to the countryside. one of the attributes of mao, was, however, that some of the victims were pulled out of the countryside when mao needed
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them, and the sense of nationalism with the chinese is so great that when mao became concerned about soviet threat, he pulled four whom he had disgraced out of the countryside and brought them to beijing and said, "write me a paper on what the challenges are that we are facing." so these are -- so these are the guards and they are governing together with some of the red guards who were part of the revolution. but when mao was through with
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the guards, he sent them to the countryside, so many of them have the common experience of this, which creates one perspective on the period, but also gives a sense of having been hardened and of having experienced all the trials that one can imagine. they have seen both the challenges of rule, some of the suffering, and have come out of it now in leadership positions. we are facing a set of huge problems. the transformation -- over the next 10 years, they after move 400 million people -- they have
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to move up 400 million people from the countryside into the cities, which, of course, is a huge technical problem of infrastructure. but even more than that, they know, as one must know, that they will lose some of the values of the countryside. and that new values will be formed. now, what is the role of the party? what is the role of confusi -- confucianism? in forming these battles. i think that is an unsettled issue that will occupy china for the next 10 years. and the younger generation is a generation that has two attributes. one, they are teasingly -- are
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increasingly from one-child families. so there is the already strong obligation to one family, which it magnifies when all the hopes of the family concentrate on one person, but also prevents or it obliterates some of the smooth edges that have made chinese society so attractive. andand also the younger generatn has never experienced disaster. has never experienced disaster.


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